Saturday, May 11, 2013

Suddenly Fatherless [Part 1] : Command your soul to hope in God when in times of sorrow.

Death often comes without any warning. I experienced it on Sunday night, April 28, 2013. Suddenly, I became fatherless. Suddenly I lost my father. There was no goodbye.

In my previous posts about skripsi, I mentioned that my dad had stroke just few days before my second defense. Thanks to God because He enabled me to stay focus and passed the defense. Surely I was sad by the time I knew that my dad had stroke, but I did not think that he would passed away. I thought stroke would not kill my father. I see a lot of people have stroke and stay healthy. What should I fear? I remember I hoped and prayed that my dad would be healed soon so that he might be able to attend the commissioning service, my graduation, on May 31, 2013.

But God had His own plan.

Day by day, dad's condition was getting worse. And I did not know the truth. I thought he was fine. I remember talked with him on the phone. He told me that he could not do anything without help. He needed someone to help him eat, take a bath, and do everything. Half of his body could not move. Seemed like partial stroke.

On Saturday night, my cousin and mom called me, asked when I could go home soon. I really felt worry but my cousin and mom told me to not cry, dad was fine. Then I talked to my father, asked whether he already ate, he said yes. It was our last conversation. He ended our conversation with laugh. How could I think that he was near to death? But I was sad. Very sad.

God is faithful. He is Emmanuel. He is with us. He was and is always with me.

On Sunday morning, I felt sad. I hoped that the sermon would somehow strengthen me. God knew it. He prepared me for it.

I remember Ps. Andrew preached about "Sorrow", taken from Psalm 42. You could listen the sermon here. He gave us "The One Thing":

Command your soul to hope in God when in times of sorrow.

I remember Ps. Andrew said that we have to prepare for the times of sorrow we will experience in life, including the death of our family members. Life is series of ups and downs and we can cherish good times and bad times. Good times are not to be idolized. In times of sorrow, we can learn to appreciate the good times, refining our holiness, building faith beyond feelings, to be perseverance, and value our valuable relationships. The psalmist commanded his soul to hope in God despite his inner turmoil (Psalm 42:5). He does not question God, he questions himself.

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God

We must learn how to command our souls to hope in God. Therefore, we train ourselves for times of sorrow by:
  • renewing our minds through our Word Ministry
  • wrestling with the Lord and our hearts through our prayer ministry
  • engaging in edifying relationships through our people ministry
As Christ's disciples, we have a greater hope in Jesus Christ, our salvation and our God.

I took this sermon in my heart, not knowing that my dad was in a critical situation.

After the Sunday Celebration, I received some calls from my cousin, Ezra, aunties, my mom, my brother. They asked me to go home soon. Yet they did not tell me dad's condition. They said that my dad missed me and wanted to see me. I confused. I wanted to go home soon but my skripsi revision had not finished yet. Could I get the permission to go home?

I cried after talked with them and decided to meet Bu Ban (my dorm parent). I went to her apartment and poured out my heart to her. Thank God, she opened my mind to see this urgent situation as the most important thing. She told me that in our Asian culture, people usually did not tell the truth about your family's condition when you are far away from home. When the condition is very urgent, they would tell you to go home soon. Usually when someone is sick and suddenly miss his/her family members, he/she might be near to death. I am so thankful that Bu Ban spoke the truth and really opened my mind so that I would be able to take a decision.

Then, I talked with my cousin, Ezra and thankfully he also said boldly that I should go home that night. Well, I decided to go home. I packed my clothes and called some friends to help. Thanks God, Mayang and her friends would like to accompany me to the airport. That night I flew to Surabaya.

By the time I arrived at Surabaya, my dad passed away at 10.10 PM. It was the time when I waited for the luggage. Usually when I wait the luggage, my dad would call or text me to let me know that he already arrived at the airport, ready to pick me up. This time, he passed away instead of picking me up.

My cousin, Ezra, and his wife picked me up in the airport. Then they brought me to my dad. When I arrived there, my mom said, "Your dad already gone."

I cried without voice and came to him. He was slept there. I looked on his chest, hoped it would move up and down, but there was no move. I hold his hands. Cold. He passed away. I put my head above his chest. Crying without voice. Trying to accept this reality.

When we walked out as my dad's body brought in to the ambulance, I remembered Ps. Andrew and his sermon. Then I sent him text. I thanked to my God for preparing me to experience this time of sorrow.

I was and am amazed to see how I was calm and had clear conscience that night. God really strengthen me. I supposed to cry aloud but I didn't. I supposed to be depressed and could not think clearly, but I took some decisions regarding my dad's burial that night. Together with my cousin, Ezra, and my brother, we went to BAGUS peti mati dan siupan. We had chosen the coffin that night while my dad's body had bathed at ADI JASA funeral home.

After my dad's body had bathed, I looked at him. He was so handsome. His face was so peaceful. He was death in the Lord. My mom said he was sleeping when he died.

Then we went to my grandma's house. It was hard to sleep. We were crying until we felt asleep. We could only slept for 2 or 3 hours. The sorrow was great. Before slept, I tried to command my soul to hope in God. It worked. I could slept.

Until today, I still need to command my soul to hope in God. And it really helps.

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God

Next part >>>

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